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best albums of the 90's: we be clubbin

publicenemy.jpeLet's hit a genre this time.

Wu Tang Clan - Enter the Wu Tang - 36 Chambers (1993)
Damn, I can't believe this album is ten years old. It hasn't aged a bit. Can it all be so Simple still makes me swoon. 36 Chambers set the standard for hip-hop. Without this album there is no Jay Z, no Biggie. I would be hard pressed to describe this album to someone who never heard Wu Tang. Perhaps: a waterfall of sound and fury, signifying everything. Too overwrought? Oh, RZA kicks some major ass.

Ice Cube - The Predator (1992) Yea, I know that the critics liked AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted and Death Certificate better, but for us poser gangstas, you can't beat Check Yo Self, Wicked and It Was a Good Day.

Ice T - O.G. Original Gangsta (1991) Told ya I'm a poser. In 1991 I was a 29 year old, suburban, stay-at-home mom. But in the dark of night, when no one was looking, I was rockin' out to Bitches and Body Count. I still do that on Friday nights. And Ice T plays a cop on tv. We all sell out at some point, I guess.

Public Enemy - Fear of A Black Planet (1991) Can't have the above without this. For such a controversial record, it's on an abundance of best-of lists.

Hey, did you ever see the movie Fear of a Black Hat? Must see tv, people. Go rent it.


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Dr. Dre - The Chronic

This is a good list, although for sheer party value I would have included Dre's Chronic, and I would have put one pseudo jazz influence group like Tribe or De La Soul too.

Best album of the 90s? Isn't that roughly comparable to being the best hockey team in Panama? [/geezer]

You gonna do country next?

How can you ignore Hard To Earn by Gangstarr? DWYK was the shit!!

I guess I'm not very West Coast. After the first NWA album, there was a severe downturn in quality.

I'd go for "De La Soul is Dead" by De La Soul, and definitely "The Low End Theory" by Tribe Called Quest, my favorite rap album of all time. And, because it snuck it before the end of the decade, "Dr. Octagon".

I'd add in Public Enemy's "It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" and the RZA's soundtrack for "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai."

Black Planet was one of the top 5 albums of the whole decade!! DeLa's '3 Feet High & Rising' is one of the first 'trip-hop' albums. Nobody had rapped over a Steely Dan track to that point.

I guess I'm being provincial - both groups from LI. Hey Michelle, DeLa were in EM, right?


I'd include "It Takes a Nation of Millions" too, but it was released in 1988.

And I knew that'd forgot an important album last night...."Death Certificate" by Ice Cube is not only the greatest hip-hop album of all time but the greatest comedy album of all time! I defy you all to show me something funnier than "Givin' Out the Nappy Dugout" or "Horny Little Devil!" I'm safe in this defiance as it can't be done!

Any album that brought Billboard magazine to run an editorial for the first time in it's then 75 year history deserves to be on any list.

Shoot, you're right about "Nation" - my brain took a holiday on that one.

Hell, if we're including humor albums we have to toss in "No Cure For Cancer" and "Lock 'N Load" by Denis Leary. Casutic, funny, and the single best piece of police humor ever (the bit about bicycle cops being the saddest son-of-a-guns).

Bill Hicks spits on Denis Leary. Ptooie!

I went to see some band I don't even remember now in Norwalk, CT in 1992. Wu-Tang was supposed to open for the band, but got there very late because they had been pulled over in their van for smoking weed. We got there late to avoid the opening band and missed the band we had come to see, so stayed and checked out Wu-Tang. 20 minutes of "Wu-Tang Clan ain't nothin to f*ck with" later, we left. They sucked then. They've gotten much better since.

On no. Are there still people who believe Leary 'stole' material from Hicks? I've listened to both and while their styles are similar, exactly what material did Leary steal from him?

It's obvious he was an influence, but that kind of thing happens all the time.

Plus, I don't remember anybody accusing Hicks of ripping off Carlin's 'fuck the children' bit when he did his "Your children aren't special" thing.

I hate to say it, but Hicks seemed to be, shall we say....jealous?...of Leary's success.

Leary got his big boost, not from his act, but from MTV of all places. That's the first place I saw him. Doing those commercials and talking about Cindy Crawford.

In addition, one I'd forgotten as well, is Nas' Illmatic. It's what some might call "the hottness" or "the ish."

"3 Feet High and Rising" is a classic, but it was released in 1989.

If you're looking for Westsiiiide flavor without all the phony gangsta crap, check out the Pharcyde's 1992 debut, "Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde."

Pharcyde is dope.

Do they still say that? Dope? The shit? Kewl?

Naw, they're "the shizzle."

It's all about Cube:
One two three and I come with the wicked
style and you know that I'm from the wicked
crew act like you knew
cos I got everybody jumpin to the voodoo
Pick it wicked rhymes picket signs
While me and the mob gotta truck full of 9's]
Play ya and I'll slay ya
I got thug made dough by the hey a
Ready to BUCK BUCK BUCK and it's a must
to DUCK DUCK DUCK before I bust
Lookin for the one that did it
but like En Vogue, no you're never gonna get it
Cos I'm the one with the fat mad skills
and I won't choke like the Buffalo Bills
Sittin at the pad just chillin
cos Larry Parker just got two million, oh what a feelin
So shake that nigga and pass me the pill
and I'll slam dunk ya like Shaquille O'Neal
Like it, dig it, maybe and watch that ??? ???
Kick it cos I get wicked

Chorus: (some toaster, once again won't translate to avoid offending)

Verse 2:

Won't say nuttin, just listen
Got me a plan to break Tyson outta prison
Come my way and get served
Still got a duece that'll bunny hop the curb
Nappy head, nappy chest, nappy chin
Never seen with a happy grin
Show the fat foul cos I'm down
Take a look around
and all you see is big black boots steppin
Use my steel toe as a weapon
Kick ya and flip ya, now they want to
label this nigga, tape with the sticker
Kickin out girls that's nicety
Yo, I gotta body count like Ice-T
From here to New York
I get skins and ain't talkin bout pork
Swine, pig, dick
Listen to the flow of a so-called negro
who didn't know I was funky as Wilson Pickett
Dig it cos I get wicked


Verse 3:

People wanna know how come
I gotta gat and I'm lookin out the window like Malcolm
Ready to bring that noise
Kinda trigger happy like the ?guitar boys?
April 29th was power to the people
and we might just see a sequel
cos police got equal pay
A horse is a pig that don't fly straight
Doin Darryl Gates but is Willie Williams
down with the pilgrims
Just a super slave
We'll have to break his ass up like Super Dave
I'm wicked enough to board this
Cos now it's on to the fullest
Gorilla straight from the mist
But I don't miss when it comes to this
Bring the yellow tape
The white cape, cos I'm so straight
Thru with the picket signs, take his job and stick it
Bigot, cos I get wicked